Indiana men’s basketball took care of business in the Hoosiers’ season opener against Morehead State on Monday night.
From the team’s freshmen to the Assembly Hall crowd, there’s plenty to take away from this win.
Here’s three things:
The Montverde Freshmen Are The Real Deal
If the final exhibition against Saint Francis was a showcase for Jalen Hood-Schifino, tonight was Reneau’s turn to shine. He was a form, reliable presence in the paint on defense able to hold his own with physicality.
On offense? Sheesh. He tied with Jackson-Davis to lead the Hoosiers in scoring on the night with 15 points apiece.
This section is a bit short, but you really just need to see these guys to believe ‘em.
The Student Section
Early games like this against smaller schools usually function as something of a warmup for a roster with real stakes involved. Sure, people will point and laugh if a team loses a scrimmage (hey Louisville) but that ultimately doesn’t change a win-loss record at the end of the day.
The same can be said for a crowd. Sure, you’ll get the usual boos, but nothing too intense for teams you’re unlikely to see ever again. The boos were there, but things were pretty tame.
Evidently, Morehead State’s Jake Wolfe wasn’t a fan of the relative silence.
The Eagles made things a bit uncomfortable in the first half, taking a 17-14 lead eight minutes into the game. Wolfe looked to Indiana’s student section and began to taunt.
So Hoosier fans did the only thing they could do: get loud. Very, very loud. Wolfe couldn’t so much as glance at the ball on offense or defense without a wave of boos raining down on him from around Assembly Hall.
Wolfe ended up fouling out following a flagrant in the closing minutes of the second half, but not before committing five of Morehead State’s 21 turnovers (Indiana scored a whopping 29 points from those 21, by the way). The jeers didn’t end there, with students yelling “LEFT, RIGHT” with every step Wolfe took until he sat.
They didn’t need to, but Indiana’s students provided The Juice. That could set the tone for the rest of the campaign.
Three Point Shooting
Indiana took just 11 3-pointers on the night, making four. Keep in mind, those numbers are slightly inflated by the team’s youth chucking up shots in the closing minutes because why not.
Is that concerning? Uh, maybe?
Indiana was bigger than Morehead State. Trayce Jackson-Davis could pretty much just stand near the rim and reach up to contest a rebound, which he did on multiple occasions. After the game, Woodson said Indiana was just going to leverage its size because it has three, potentially four starting-caliber bigs.
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Indiana will need to hit more 3-pointers to win games down the road, and we really haven’t seen what this team is capable of from the perimeter when it matters yet. Still.
Just sit tight, we’ll find out eventually.